The US National Whitewater Center is hands down one of the coolest places ever. Located in Charlotte off of I-85 near Belmont, the Whitewater Center consists of 400 acres along the Catawba River. It is the largest man-made white water river in the world, filled with 12 million gallons of well water. And it’s only about 20 minutes from Fort Mill. How lucky are we?
White Water rafters can enjoy a ride down 2 channels featuring Class II, III, and IV rapids. Seven 680 horsepower pumps send the water through the two channels and a moving-belt conveyor returns rafters from the lower pool to the upper pool so they can ride the rapids again without exiting the raft.
White Water Rafting is the main attraction, but there are many other things to do at the US National Whitewater Center. Other water activities include whitewater kayaking, flatwater kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding.
Land Sports include Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking (over 14 miles of trails), a Zip Line, Ropes Course, and Canopy Tour. Trails are also open for walkers and runners and there are numerous races held every year.
The cost of an Allsport Pass which includes Whitewater, Flatwater, and Land Activities is $54 for Adults (10 and up) and $44 for Kids 9 and under. You can buy a season pass for $179 (Adults) or $149 (Youth).
There is no charge for entrance to the US National Whitewater Center and many people go to drink a beer and people watch or use the trails. There is a $5 charge for parking.
After an afternoon of excitement, you may work up an appetite for a meal at the Rivers Edge Bar and Grill where you can sit at an outdoor table with a great view of the action. They serve numerous craft beers on tap, which change pretty much daily and you definitely want to try the Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese with Apple Wood Bacon and the Sweet Potato Waffle Fries with Honey Mustard.
There are numerous live concerts and outdoor festivals each year at the Whitewater Center. Below are some upcoming events.
- River Jam- live music every Thursday night
- Brew Stash Bash- June 15- American Craft Beer Tastings and live music
- Coca Cola 4th of July Festival- July 3 & 4- Live music and fireworks
- The Beast Feast- August 10- Food Truck Competition
- Labor Day Celebration- September 1- Live music, fireworks, 5k and 15k trail races
- Microbrews Cruise- various dates throughout summer- flatwater kayaking followed by dinner and craft beer tastings on Hawk Island
Visit the US National Whitewater website for a complete listing of upcoming events.